War and Peace
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domi nation of the few. . . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.(1)
James Madison, 1795, Works 4:491-2
Principles Governing Wars. In the early history of the world, wars of extermination or enslavement were more or less the rule. However, when the Roman Empire became all powerful, it adopted more temperate rules; it had more humane feelings about war, its deceits, stratagems, and artifices. A certain honor was observed towards enemies, so much so, indeed, that it is said that on one occasion the Romans declined to recognize one of their generals in a victory he had won by using bribery. On another occasion they declined to take advantage of an offer made to them that by the use of poison they could accomplish the destruction of certain of their enemies.
However, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the world fell into the Dark Ages, and then apparently every excess that could be invented by man was practised as nations went to war. Things became so bad that finally at about the period of the Reformation, mens consciences became shocked at mans inhumanity to man, and they began to try to see if something could not be done to bring more humanity into the conduct of war. Along in the late fifteen hundreds a very great Dutchman was born, Hugo Grotius, who, in the course of his life, prepared the first great work on international law. In the preface to that monumental work which has stood as the great classic [p. 469] from that time until this (and you cannot reach much farther back when you go into international law of the modern times, than Grotius), I say, in his preface, he made this statement of the reasons why he wrote this treatise:
I saw prevailing throughout the Christian world a license in making war of which even barbarous nations would have been ashamed; recourse being had to arms for slight reasons or no reasons; and when arms were once taken up, all reverence for divine and human law was thrown away, just as if men were thenceforth authorized to commit all crimes without restraint.
Because of this condition Grotius wrote his work De Jure Belli et Pacis, which was the beginning of the bringing into war of something of humanity, if humanity may be properly spoken of in connection with war.
First an effort was made to draw the distinction between combatants and non- combatants. War was to be waged between armies and not between civilian peoples. Statesmen and nations sought to relieve non-combatants from the woes, cruelties, and horrors of war. Old men, women, children, the decrepit and infirm were to be protected, not slaughtered. Many other humanizing elements came in relating to prisoners of war and the treatment of wounded.
When our nation was formed, we contributed to the world some great principles, among the greatest being that of neutrality, the intent thereof being to confine the war conflagration in as narrow a space as possible with the purpose of providing that the peoples of the nations that were not fighting might conduct their intercourse as usual. The miseries and woes of war were not to be inflicted upon innocent, disinterested peoples. We came to the brink of war in the last years of the eighteenth century to maintain this principle as applied to ourselves. The effort was to make it impossible to have what we have now come to glorify as global war and total war. We then knew such a war was a curse.
Then came our own Civil War. Up until that time there never had been a written code of rules governing war between nations; and up until that time civil war was [p. 470] a war by traitors; those who were taken as prisoners of war were treated as traitors. But Francis Lieber, a political refugee from Germany, drew up for Lincoln what were known as General Orders 100, which went out to the Federal armies in the field, and thereafter governed the conduct of our armies in the Civil War. These rules went further than any practice of nations up until that time in international war. These rules forbade the bombardment, without notice, of places where there were civilian peoples. It provided for the protection of museums, of libraries, of scientific institutions. These were to be saved from the ravages and destruction of war. Undefended towns were not to be attacked. Civilians were to be spared. Old men, women, and children, the wounded, all were to receive the maximum possible protection. As time went on and as a result of that code, other codes were framed by various international conferences, notably The Hague conferences of 1899 and 1907. Furthermore, they provided certain inhibitions on the waging of war which I think you might be interested in hearing me name. They adopted a declaration prohibiting the dropping of projectiles from balloons; they provided that poison gases should not be used; that poison itself should not be used. They repeated the prohibitions that undefended towns should not be bombarded. Family honor was to be respected; pillage and rape and arson and the whole train of like crimes that we read so much about today were forbidden.
A Sag into Barbarism.(2) Then came World War I, and we began to sag back into barbarism. World War II followed. All distinctions between combatants and non combatants disappeared. This was inevitably so, if they used the kind of weapons they employed. So we had [p. 471] destroyed in England many towns, some of those suffering most being Sheffield, Hull, Manchester, Coventry, and London. There were many towns in Germany equally destroyed, including Berlin, and particularly Dresden, and as to this last city, some of our people, Americans, are affirming that the bombardment of Dresden (where it is said we killed in two nights more than two hundred fifty thousand people, men, women and children, including wounded who had been collected there) was in violation of a tacit understanding that if Germany would leave Oxford and Cambridge alone, we would not touch Dresden. I do not know how true this report is; but we know the result.
Tragedy of Atom Bomb. Now do not forget that all of the nations had prepared before World War II to use aircraft; they had already used submarines in World War I; and we in this area know we were prepared to use poison gases. Then as the crowning savagery of the war, we Americans wiped out hundreds of thousands of civilian population with the atom bomb in Japan, few if any of the ordinary civilians being any more responsible for the war than were we, and perhaps most of them no more aiding Japan in the war than we were aiding America. Military men are now saying that the atom bomb was a mistake. It was more than that: it was a world tragedy. Thus we have lost all that we gained during the years from Grotius (1625) to 1912. And the worst of this atomic bomb tragedy is not that not only did the people of the United States not rise up in protest against this savagery, not only did it not shock us to read of this wholesale destruction of men, women, and children, and cripples, but that it actually drew from the nation at large a general approval of this fiendish butchery. (J. Reuben Clark, CR- 10/46:86-8)
Nuremberg Will Condemn Us. How far indeed have we traveled from the gentle spirit, the humanity, indeed the brotherly love of Grant at Appomattox, and of Lincoln in the Cabinet meeting. That spirit brought a peace that has lasted for 85 years, with yet no signs of war. And may we not here place on one side Lincolns declaration at the Cabinet meetingno one need expect he would take [p. 472] any part in hanging or killing these men, even the worst of them, and on the other side place Nuremberg, where reports says men were tried and convicted for acts which, when committed, were not contrary to the law of nations, but declared so after they were committed, thus violating one of our fundamental constitutional concepts that ex post facto laws are not tolerable. If we shall ever be the underdog, which pray God we never shall be, Nuremberg will rise to condemn us, and to argue justification for the same procedure against us . . . .(3)
It looks to us as if in our dealing with our conquered foes, we of America have forgotten Appomattox; we have turned our backs on the idealism and lofty conduct and purpose of our whole history; we have with us neither the vision nor the humanity that were the controlling elements of our past. We seem to have turned back the hearts of men more than two thousand years, and to be back into paganism . . . .
The German Underground. It has been affirmed since the war that the underground party in Germany offered to cooperate with us to stop the further shedding of blood and to end the war, and that we refused to follow. I do not know the influence that led us to refuse that humane offer, if it was made, and so save further slaughter of our own sons, but when the curtains are drawn back and the whole picture is shown, I shall not be surprised if we shall see that our bloody course was inspired by the German political refugees and their American friends, who, safe on our shores and behind our defenses, were quite willing that American blood should be shed till their thirst for revenge for ills they had suffered, but for which we had not even a shadow of responsibility, was slacked.
During the war, the slightest hint that we should [p. 473] treat with the German underground always called forth a tirade of scorn, ridicule, and defamation, poured out to a credulous public by the smearers and passed from mouth to mouth by the communists, the fellow travelers and their sympathizers, and political emigres. These war mongers built such an odium about the word appeasement, that men shrank from doing or saying anything that might draw upon themselves that opprobious epithet. So thousands upon thousands of our boys were sacrificed.
Stopping the effusion of blood is one element of Appomattox that has had no place in this World War II. Never forget Nagasaki and Hiroshima . . . .
Our Tragic Policies. What have we done and what are we doing?
First, it may be said that apparently many, many enemy troops, it may be as many as 2,500,000 are still in detention camps, probably at forced labor [in 1947].
The reports that appear in the press and that come from observers, leave no alternative but to conclude that we, to some extent, and some of our allies to greater extent, are deliberately following a course that will lead to the starving of great numbers of people, perhaps nations; that we allies are robbing them of the means of recovery not only, but of indispensable sustenance; and that we are not letting them produce the food, fuel, shelter, clothing, necessary to preserve life. We are destroying their industrial plants. A credible source charges it is mainly American policies that have made mendicants and parasites of the peoples of Europe.
All this may be pursuant to a policy and plan we years ago announced, the Morgenthau plan,(4) not yet, I believe, repudiated, for destroying a whole national life, and remaking it to suit the plan said by some to have [p. 474] been devised under the influence of political emigres who think their best selfish interests will be best served thereby, and their revenge satisfied. All this makes for hate, and peace and hate never live together.
Private reports too numerous to ignore and too constant to admit of real doubt, affirm that our occupying forces are quartered under luxurious conditions that are breeding an intense hatred against us. Certainly not discouraged, and some say encouraged, very many of our own men are reported to be living lives of debauchery of which American troops, en masse, have never before been guilty, and which some of us think are unworthy of, and indeed disgraceful to, American citizenship. Some of our allies are accused, without successful contradiction, of deliberately and designedly violating every woman, young and old, maid and wife, within their occupied area. This means more and more hate, with peace in hiding.
America Shares In Blame. For all this we are at least partly to blame.(5) In the estimation of the oppressed peoples, we shall be held most to blame, first, because we are co-participants in the imposition of the oppressions, and, next, because they believe we could prevent it if we would. And they are right as to the planning and beginning of it, for if, during the war, our own spokesman had said no at the right moment, most, if not all, of this would never have happened. I note all this here because all the cruelty and mistreatment we visit upon the peoples of Europe, in whatever form, builds a hate and a fear which will not bring peace, and which, the tables turning, will bring swift retaliation upon ourselves. (J. Reuben Clark, CN-11/22/47)
Principles Abandoned. Britain and France went to war to guarantee the territorial integrity of Poland. We made that cause our cause. The principle was that no nation should be suffered to be trampled underfoot by a [p. 475] ruthless invader of its land. The enemy was subdued, but the principle of protection of a people against the incursions and oppression of a foreign tyrant, for which the war was ostensibly fought, was relinquished and a large part of the territory of Poland was suffered to be seized and its entire people brought under the dominion of a despot quite as ruthless and cruel as the first invader. The invasion of Finland was denounced as an act of wanton brutality and the perpetrator of the invasion as a despot as tyrannical as any in the world. Then by a turn of the wheel of fortune that despot got over on to our side, or more properly speaking, we got on to his and winked our eyes at his dismemberment of that unhappy land and his impositions upon its people of unconscionable indemnities.
Without so much as consulting our ancient friend, China, we gave consent to the seizure of a vast chunk of its territory and the control over its vital communications.
The world is reaping the fruit of this abandonment of principles. There is only one truth and one morality. When discovered, it matters not whether they find application to religious observances or to political systems. They bear the hallmark of eternity and may not with impunity be abandoned or compromised.
Stability will come when men once more live by the promises they make and in their public morality as in their private conduct, in their religious as in their political life, they develop integrity of purpose and steadfastness to principle and adherence to known laws foundationed in the wisdom of the eternal. (Albert E. Bowen, CR-10/48:89-90)
Conditions Justifying War. I still say that there are conditions when entrance into war is justifiable, and when a Christian nation may, without violation of principles, take up arms against an opposing force. Such a condition, however, is not a real or fancied insult given by one nation to another. When this occurs proper reparation may be made by mutual understanding, apology, or by arbitration.
Neither is there justifiable cause found in a desire or even a need for territorial expansion. The taking of territory implies the subjugation of the weak by the strong;-the application of the jungle law. [p. 476]
Nor is war justified in an attempt to enforce a new order of government, or even to impel others to a particular form of worship, however better the government or eternally true the principles of the enforced religion may be.
There are, however, two conditions which may justify a truly Christian man to entermind you, I say enter, not begina war: (1) An attempt to dominate and to deprive another of his free agency, and, (2) Loyalty to his country. Possibly there is a third, viz., Defense of a weak nation that is being unjustly crushed by a strong, ruthless one.
Paramount among these reasons, of course, is the defense of mans freedom. An attempt to rob man of his free agency caused dissension even in heaven . . . . To deprive an intelligent human being of his free agency is to commit the crime of the ages.
So fundamental in mans eternal progress is his inherent right to choose, that the Lord would defend it even at the price of war. Without freedom of thought, freedom of choice, freedom of action within lawful bounds, man cannot progress. The Lord recognized this, and also the fact that it would take man thousands of years to make the earth habitable for self-governing individuals. Through out the ages advanced souls have yearned for a society in which liberty and justice prevail. Men have sought for it, fought for it, have died for it. Ancient freemen prized it, slaves longed for it, the Magna Charta demanded it, the Constitution of the United States declared it.
This love of liberty which God has planted in us constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence. It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling seacoasts, our army, and our navy. Our defense is in the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and we have planted the seeds of despotism at our very doors. (Abraham Lincoln)
A second obligation that impels us to become participants in . . . war is loyalty to government.
We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that He holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society. [p. 477]
We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life. (D&C 134:1–2)
The greatest responsibility of the state is to guard the lives, and to protect the property and rights of its citizens; and if the state is obligated to protect its citizens from lawlessness within its boundaries, it is equally obligated to protect them from lawless encroachments from withoutwhether the attacking criminals be individuals or nations. (David O. McKay, CR-4/42:72-3)
Defensive War Justified. True, Jesus Christ taught that non-resistance was right and praiseworthy and a duty under certain circumstances and conditions; but just look at him when he went into the temple, when he made that scourge of thongs, when he turned out the money changers and kicked over their tables and told them to get out of the house of the Lord! My house is a house of prayer, he said, but ye have made it a den of thieves. Get out of here! Hear him crying, Woe unto you Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and then ye make him ten-fold more the child of hell than he was before. That was the other side of the spirit of Jesus. Jesus was no milksop. He was not to be trampled under foot. He was ready to submit when the time came for his martyrdom, and he was to be nailed on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, but he was ready at any time to stand up for his rights like a man. He is not only called the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, but also the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. and He will be seen to be terrible by and by to his enemies.
Now while we are not particularly required to pattern after the lion side of his character unless it becomes necessary, the Lord does not expect us to inculcate the spirit of war nor the spirit of bloodshed. In fact he has commanded us not to shed blood, but there are times and seasons, as we can find in the history of the world, in Bible and the Book of Mormon, when it is justifiable and right and proper and the duty of men to go forth in the [p. 478] defense of their homes and their families and maintain their privileges and rights by force of arms. On this subject I might read something to you if there were plenty of time, but you can read it yourselves when you get home. Read the 101st Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, then read the 98th Section.
In Section 101 the Lord speaks about the constitution of this land. He says it was framed by wise men whom he raised up for that very purpose. What for? To maintain the rights and privileges of all flesh. Not alone the people of this land. The principles of that great instrument are to go forth to the nations, and the time will come when they will prevail, just as sure as the sun shines even when it appears to be in darkness and the clouds are over it. And the Lord says, concerning the works of those great men, And redeemed the land by the shedding of blood. Shedding of blood! Does the Lord permit the shedding of blood and justify it? Yes, sometimes he does. Was not the war of independence of this country justifiable? Were not the rights and privileges of the people of this land trampled under foot, and did they not rise in their might and the God of Battles strengthen their arms and they went forth to victory and brought liberty, not only to themselves and their immediate families, but to hosts of people from down trodden Europe who are rejoicing today under the Stars and Stripes with liberty of conscience and liberty of speech and liberty of action within proper guidance and direction of righteous law. These principles are to go forth to all flesh. Dont you forget it. The time will come when they will be carried to all the nations of the earth and they will be delivered from tyrants and oppressors.
In the 98th Section the Lord gives the law that he gave in ancient time to his people when they were to go forth to battle: It is in substance: If thine enemy come against thee, thou shalt forgive him; if he come again the second time, thou shalt forgive him; and if he even come the third time and you forgive him it will be reckoned unto you for glory, but if he come again I, the Lord, justify you in going forth to battle and I will strengthen you and I will fight your battles. Now the great distinction [p. 479] should be, and we should understand it, that circumstances may arise which will require a different precept from that given at one time when another time comes . . . .
From the eternities that are past down to the present, when circumstances change, he adapts his laws to those conditions and gives his people counsel and instructions suited to the times and the circumstances . . . .
Now if a nation essays to go forth against another nation for the purpose of conquest, to gain territory, to grasp something that does not belong to that nation, then the nation thus assailed has the right to resist even to the shedding of blood, as it was in this land in the war for independence. But we have to be careful as to what spirit we are guided by. If we want to go out to battle, to encroach upon other peoples liberties and rights, to gain their lands, to destroy their property without any right or reason, that is one thing; but if somebody comes against us to destroy us and our property and our homes and our rights and our privileges, either on land or sea, then we have the right under the divine law to rise for our own protection and take such steps as are necessary . . . . (Charles W. Penrose, CR-4/17:19-22)
Moroni knew . . . it was the only desire of the Nephites to preserve their lands, and their liberty, and their church, therefore he thought it no sin that he should defend them by stratagem; therefore, he found by his spies which course the Lamanites were to take. (Book of Mormon, Alma 43:29–30)
Shedding of Blood Justified. Behold it is time, yea, the time is now at hand, that except ye do bestir yourselves in the defence of your country and your little ones, the sword of justice doth hang over you; yea, and it shall fall upon you and visit you even to your utter destruction. (Prophet Moroni, Book of Mormon, Alma 60:29)
Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church.
And they were doing that which they felt was the [p. 480] duty which they owed to their God; for the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers that: Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies. And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. (Book of Mormon, Alma 43:45–47)
Military Service. The Church membership are citizens or subjects of sovereignties over which the Church has no control. The Lord Himself has told us to befriend that law which is the constitutional law of the land (D&C 98:4–7) . . . .
While by its terms this revealed word related more especially to this land of America, nevertheless the principles announced are worldwide in their application, and they are specifically addressed to you (Joseph Smith), and your brethren of my church. When, therefore, constitutional law, obedient to these principles, calls the manhood of the Church into the armed service of any country to which they owe allegiance, their highest civic duty requires that they meet that call. If, hearkening to that call and obeying those in command over them, they shall take the lives of those who fight against them, that will not make of them murderers, nor subject them to the penalty that God has prescribed for those who kill . . . . For it would be a cruel God that would punish His children as moral sinners for acts done by them as the innocent instrumentalities of a sovereign whom He had told them to obey and whose will they were powerless to resist. (First Presidency, CR-4/42:94-5)
PeaceA Gift of God. Peace is a desirable thing; it is the gift of God, and the greatest gift that God can bestow upon mortals. What is more desirable than peace? Peace in nations, peace in cities, peace in families. Like the soft murmuring zephyr, its soothing influence calms the brow of care, dries the eye of sorrow, and chases trouble from the bosom; and let it be universally experienced, and it will drive sorrow from the world, and make this earth a paradise. But peace is the gift of God. (John Taylor, 1852, Government of God, P. 20) [p. 481]
Wisdom of Wise Perish. In reflecting upon the conduct of the world, it appears that the wisdom of the wise has perished and the understanding of the prudent is hid. You will see that the wisdom of the wise among the nations will perish and be taken from them. They will fall into difficulties, and they will not be able to tell the reason, nor point a way to avert them any more than they can now in this land. They can fight, quarrel, contend and destroy each other, but they do not know how to make peace. So it will be with the inhabitants of the earth. (President Brigham Young, 1864, JD-10:315)
Peace Efforts Useless Without Righteousness. It is worse than useless for men to cry peace, peace, when there is no peace or to flatter themselves that the terrible issue of war can be avoided. The decree has gone forth respecting the nations of Christendom. War in their midst is inevitable unless they take the course pointed out by the Lord which, however, they seem determined not to take. They are to be wasted away by war . . . .
Babylon must fall; no power can avert her destruction. Machines of warfare, machines of offense and defense of every description will be needed in great abundance to complete her destruction; and it must be confessed that the nations of which she is composed are doing all in their power to furnish them for the occasion . . . . Until Babylon meets with her long-promised fate, the manufacture of machines and weapons of war will be continued and peace may be looked for in vain among the nations of the earth.
Elaborate and beautiful theories may be constructed, but they will crumble to atoms before the stern logic of facts and leave those who adopt them in a worse predicament than they were in before they attempted to put them into practice. While man remains as he is and as he has been since Gods revelations and direct manifestations and guidance have been withheld from him, all such schemes as these for Peace or International Congresses must be barren of all good and permanent results . . . .
Conferences and Congresses are but a delusion and a snare in the present condition of affairs in Europe; they serve to lure their authors and participants and all who place confidence in them into greater and more inextricable [p. 482] difficulty and are more than likely, in the most of instances, to bring about that which they are designed to avert. Gods fiat has gone forth concerning Babylon, and no man or nation or combination of nations can prevent its fulfilment. (George Q. Cannon, 1861, Gospel Truth 1:56-7)
No Legislated Peace. Peace upon earth is not to be established by Congress or Parliament, or by a group of international representatives. Peace is not a thing that can be taken on, then taken off again, as we do a piece of clothing. Peace is quite different from that. Peace cannot be legislated into existence. It is not the way to lasting peace upon earth. That, every man here understands . . . .
Peace comes from within; peace is myself, if I am a truly peaceful man. The very essence of me must be the spirit of peace. Individuals make up the community, and the nationan old enough doctrine, which we often over-lookand the only way to build a peaceful community is to build men and women who are lovers and makers of peace. Each individual, by that doctrine of Christ and His Church, holds in his own hands the peace of the world.
That makes me responsible for the peace of the world, and makes you individually responsible for the peace of the world. The responsibility cannot be shifted to someone else. It cannot be placed upon the shoulders of Congress or Parliament, or any other organization of men with governing authority.
I wonder if the Lord did not have that in mind when he said: . . . the kingdom of God is within you, (Luke 17:21), or perhaps we should re-emphasize it and say: The kingdom of God is within you. (John A. Widtsoe, CR-10/43:113)
Erroneous Peace Efforts. It is a curious commentary on human nature that men who cry for peace look upon peace as something that may be picked as an apple from a tree, something that lies about within easy reach of humanity. If I pick an apple from a tree, I have first planted the tree, cared for it, watered it, brought it to maturity. Then in due time I may have the fruit.
So with peace. It is not a thing by itself to be picked [p. 483] up casually; but it is the fruit of something precedent. Like the tree, something must be planted and nourished and cared for, if we are to obtain peace.
It is a marvel to thinking men that those who write on peace fail to understand that it can be obtained only by the use of a body of principles which, if obeyed, in time would give us peace. We cannot begin with peace; we must begin with the philosophy or the system which, if accepted and honored, will lead to peace. Failure to understand that seems to be the error of the nations at this time, of the organizations and conventions of nations, assembled in great meetings on this side and the other side of the Atlantic. They have so far failed to touch upon the foundations of peace, upon the issues which are the aids to peace. They clamor for the peace they want, without yielding obedience to the methods by which that peace may be obtained. (John A. Widtsoe, CR-10/46:12)
The Message of Repentance. Men may scheme and plan, they may devise programs, they may set up world organizations, they may gather together great armies, they may spend the wealth of the world, they may slaughter by millions our young sons, but these will not bring rest and peace and eternal life to a sinning world.
If men would have peace, they must, in sackcloth and ashes, repent of their sins; they must confess their transgressions and forsake them; they must keep the commandments of God; they must love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls, strength, and minds, and their neighbors as themselves. (Luke 10:27–28; Matt. 22:35ff; 19:18)
Permanent peace comes only by this road. Force will never bring it. Force only silences the cannons roar while men gird for the next onslaught.
Evil and designing men cannot, for all time, compel the mind and soul of man. The divinity in man will ultimately break through all man-made bonds and shackles which will then fall from him as shadows flee before light. Man will again stand free and untrammeled.
Repentance is Gods message to this generation. (J. Reuben Clark, CN-4/2/52) [p. 484]
Peace Must be Earned. In searching the Beatitudes one sentence today forcibly suggests itself: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of Godand from this one word somehow seems forcibly to come forward: makersthe makers of peace, which implies that peace isnt something one simply assumes . . . . Peace is something that is prepared for, pursued, practised. And there is no peace in compromising principles. As Emerson said it: Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. To be makers of peace requires respect for law, the living of law, willingness to preserve principles, and forthright facing of facts. Peace requires the kind of character and conduct of principle and patriotism that have made and preserved our past, with righteousness, respect, with resolution and reverence. (Richard L. Evans, 1962, E-65:194)
Repentance or Destruction. When we realize the uncertainty that exists in the world today, realize that the strongest nations of the earth as well as the weaker ones are arming to the teeth preparing for war, we may know that it is only a question of time, unless they repent of their sins and turn to God, that war will come, and not only war, but pestilence and other destruction, until the human family will disappear from the earth.
The world does not know that, brothers and sisters. Our Fathers other children who are in different parts of the earth do not understand thatthose who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They have an idea that they can legislate and fight it out, but there is only one way to enjoy peace and happiness in this world, and that is for the children of men to repent of their sins, turn to the Lord, honor him and keep his commandments. That is the only way.
. . . It will not be long until calamities will overtake the human family unless there is speedy repentance. It will not be long before those who are scattered over the face of the earth by millions will die like flies because of what will come. (President George Albert Smith, CR-4/ 50:5, 169)
Righteousness Brings Peace. In the beginning of the Christian era, as Jesus prophetically looked through the [p. 485] centuries to come, he knew that peace would be dependent upon the slow but never- failing process of changing each individuals mental and spiritual attitude; that the cus toms and habits of the world would be determined by the innermost thoughts and soul- convictions of many individuals who composed groups, states, or nations. If, therefore, the world was to be changed, the individual must be changed. (President David O. McKay, 1962, E-65"389)
Faith in God is the first essential to peace. It is folly for the United Nations now seeking ways and means to permanent peace to exclude the idea of God from their deliberations. Only through an acknowledgment of the Divine Being as Father can the sense of human brotherhood have potency. Only thus can life have purpose and humanity as a whole live in peace.
With faith in God must be associated the realization that peace springs from the individual heart. He that will love life, and see good days, . . . let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. Jesus taught that a mans duties to himself and to his fellow men are indissolubly connected. His idea was to have each individual imbued with faith in God, with desires to live uprightly, and to deal justly with his fellow men; then a thousand, ten thousand, such individuals grouped together would constitute a community of worshipful, peace-loving human beings. A thousand such communities would make a nation; and a hundred such nations, a world. (First Presidency, 1947, E-50" 13)
No Middle Ground. Now there are those among us who are trying to serve the Lord without offending the devil. They raise in the minds of many truth seekers the vexing question, Is there not some middle ground upon which peace may be secured and maintained? Must the choice lie irrevocably between peace on the one hand, obtained by compliance with the Gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and contention and war on the other hand?
In answer to this question, I feel safe in saying that if there is such a middle ground, it is as yet undiscovered; and that, too, notwithstanding the fact that the search [p. 486] for it has been long and tortuous. Ignorant of, or ignoring, and without any thought of paying the price of peace, men have tried many other approaches. There were St. Pierres approach in 1713; Benthams plan, 1789; Kants project, 1795; there was the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907; and the League of Nations following World War I, to name but a few. And there have been pacts, treaties and alliances, ad infinitum, all without success.
When I say without success, I do not mean that these efforts have accomplished nothing, nor that they have been unworthy. What I mean to say is, they have failed to bring lasting peace. The hope that they would do so was obviously unrealistic, because none of them has been directed at the root of the problemthe abolishment of the works of the flesh. (Marion G. Romney, BYU, 3/1/55)
Freedom More Precious Than Peace. We are grieved when we see or hear men and women, some of whom even profess membership in the Church, looking with favor upon the pernicious teachings of . . . Communism. These credulous, misguided persons claim to be advocates of peace, and accuse those who oppose them as advocates of war. They should remember that all of us should ever keep in mind that there are some eternal principles more precious than peace, dearer than life.
Our revolutionary fathers sensed this, and their innermost feelings were expressed in the words of Patrick Henry: Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. [See P. 518]
Free agency, for example, is a divine gift more precious than peace, more to be desired even than life. Any nation, any organized group of individuals that would deprive man of this heritage should be denounced by all liberty-loving persons. (President David O. McKay, CR-10/51:11)
No Peace At Any Price. There are those, however, who act as though they do not believe in eternity or a resurrection. They cower at the thought of nuclear war, and to save their own bodies they would have peace at any price. Yet the best assurance of peace and life is to be strong morally and militarily. But they want life at the sacrifice of principles. Rather than choose liberty or [p. 487] death, they prefer life with slavery. But they overlook a crucial scripture, Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
The Lord could, I suppose, have avoided the war in Heaven over free agency. All He needed to have done was to have compromised with the Devilbut had he done so he would have ceased to be God.
While it is more difficult to live the truth, such as standing for free agency, some of us may in the not too distant future be required to die for the truth. But the best preparation for eternal life is to be prepared at all times to diefully prepared by a valiant fight for right.
Let us act like men, men who are sons of God, men with a sure knowledge that there will be a resurrectionand a final judgment. (Ezra Taft Benson, CR-4/64:120)
Loss of Liberty is Worse Than Death. I love the Stars and Stripes! . . . We pray to God to guide our President and Congress. I know that they and we do not want war. but there are things that are worse than deathone is to be deprived of our liberty!
God help us as a people to be true to the Stars and Stripes which stand for the individual freedom, the free agency of man, for faith in God, and for service to our country and to our fellow men! (President David O. McKay, 1964, Statements on Communism and the Constitution of the United States, p. 39)
1. Communism is at war with America. The United States is a vast battlefield. A school, a labor union, a civic group, a government official, a private citizenall are important in the never-ending struggle for power.
The whole nation, to the communists, is a gigantic checker-board. The communist high command is constantly moving, jumping, switching, and retreating to get communist members in positions of influence. They are outnumbered; they know that. That is why they must depend on skill, maneuvering and deception. (J. Edgar Hoover, Masters of Deceit, P. 82)
2. When the complete and final verdict of history is turned in on the years following 1939, it will be evident that the brutality, inhumanity and illegality were about equally distributed between the Nazis and their opponents. Indeed, this fact is already well- established. Surely the most extreme summation of Nazi abominations could be matched by the atrocities committed by the Russians. Indeed, the Germans done to death as prisoners of war or expellees by the Russians, Poles and Czechs outnumbered the minorities liquidated by the Nazis. The Morgenthau Plan for defeated Germany, accepted at Quebec in September, 1944, envisaged and involved decimation and suffering far more prolonged and extensive than that produced by the Nazi campaign of exterminating racial minorities. The fact that the prosecution did not come into court with clean hands will appear to future commentators on the post-war trials to be as serious a condemnation of them as the formal illegality of their background and procedure. (F.J.P. Veale, Advance To Barbarism, Preface)
3. The most serious criticism of the post-war trials is that, unless they are repudiated, they will have removed all restraints from the most brutal and ruthless conduct of warfare in the future. If the leaders of defeated nations or coalitions are to be automatically liquidated, with or without mock-trials, at the end of hostilities, then these leaders must not overlook or fail to exploit every conceivable instrument of destruction and terrorization which modern science, physical and psychological, can put at the disposal of those who face extermination if they fail. Future world wars, waged with our ever more destructive agencies of warfare and governed by counsels of ruthless desperation, can only mean the extinction of our civilization. (F.J.P. Veale, Advance To Barbarism, Preface)
4. In a nutshell the Morgenthau Plan was designed to bring about, artificially, in Germany the conditions of poverty, distress, and degeneration existing at that time in parts of the American South as a result of natural economic causes, which have been so graphically described by Erskine Caldwell in Tobacco Road. Mr. William Henry Chamberlin, in his book, Americas Second Crusade (Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 306), writes as follows: It is no exaggeration to say that the Morgenthau Plan, accepted by Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill at the Quebec Conference in September, 1944, if applied in all full rigor, would have been an indiscriminating sentence of death for millions of Germans. The area in which it was proposed to forbid all heavy industries and mining is one of the most urbanized and thickly settled in Europe. (Advance to Barbarism, P. 153)
5. The rise and influence of Communism, military state capitalism, the police state, and the impending doom of civilization, have been the penalty exacted for our meddling abroad in situations which did not materially affect either our security or our prestige. Our national security was not even remotely threatened in the case of either World War. There was no clear moral issue impelling us to intervene in either world conflict. The level of civilization was lowered rather than elevated by our intervention. (Harry Elmer Barnes, Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace, P. 6) [p. 488]